Blue Cypress Lake is one of the most beautiful natural freshwater lakes in Florida, lined with cypress trees and surrounded by small bayous with lily pads, sawgrass and submerged logs and cypress knee near the shores.
The water often appears dark from the tannins in the water that come from sunken and fallen trees.
According to the National Forestry Service website, “Tannins are complex chemical substances derived from phenolic acids (sometimes called tannic acid). They are classified as phenolic compounds, which are found in many species of plants, from all climates and all parts of the globe. They are large molecules that bind readily with proteins, cellulose, starches, and minerals. These resulting substances are insoluble and resistant to decomposition. Tannins occur in many species of coniferous trees as well as a number of flowering plant families. These tannins can leach out of the plants. The water in the soil becomes rich with tannins and seeps into the ground water or drains into lakes and streams. These waters become brown in color and look like tea.”
Early settlers thought the cypress trees looked blue at times, and that is where the lake got its name.
Average depth: 8 feet
Size of Lake: Approximately 6,555 acres and is the headwaters to the St. Johns River
Fish: Mostly Large Mouth Bass, Speckled Perch (Crappie), Bluegills, Shellcrackers and several varieties of Catfish. Fish attractors have been placed around Blue Cypress Lake in the more open areas of the lake.
Birds: You can spot Bald Eagles, Egret, Great Blue Heron, Hawks, Ospreys, Owls, Storks and more at Blue Cypress Lake.
BEWARE: There are alligators in Blue Cypress Lake! Swimming is not allowed.
Map to Middleton’s Fish Camp and Middleton’s Blue Cypress Rentals.
Location: Blue Cypress Lake, Middleton’s Fish Camp, and Middleton’s Blue Cypress Rentals are located 22 miles west of Vero Beach, Florida, at the end of a rustic 5-mile graded road off SR 60. Blue Cypress Road (don’t blink or you’ll miss it!) winds through fields, wetlands, pastures and farmlands. On your drive, please be polite, drive slowly and carefully, and wave at passersby, as that is the custom in this area.
Blue Cypress Conservation Area Information, here.
The Blue Cypress Lake area is remote. Not Guilligan’s Island remote, but still, there are no real grocery stores nearby, so you should bring everything you can’t get at a convenience store with you. The nearest grocery is 15-20 miles away, and you can only eat so much Spam.
“Primitive camping” (i.e.; no hookups) is available for tent campers and RVs, however space is limited and is available on a first come, first served basis. Register at Middleton’s Fish Camp.
Cell Coverage: There are few towers in the area, however, some cells do work at Blue Cypress. If you have trouble with your cell, you may be able to pick up a signal if you go outside. Some people have no trouble, and you can spot the others standing on one leg with one arm in the air. Please see the tower map below.
Chart of Blue Cypress Lake